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Travellers break fence of Thistle Hill Community Woodland near Scocles Road, Minster

People in Minster say a group of travellers who have arrived in Thistle Hill have destroyed a fence to set up on the community woodland area.

Police were called to the site at the junction of Lower Road and Scocles Road at around 6pm on Wednesday.

Travellers have broken a fence to access Thistle Hill Community Woodland in Minster
Travellers have broken a fence to access Thistle Hill Community Woodland in Minster

The chairman of Minster Parish Council, Cllr Ken Ingleton, said: "The council and the police are in the process of moving them at the moment.

"The group moved onto the community woodland on Wednesday and we're just going through the legalities."

The land is recreational ground where people have been going for their daily exercise.

An eyewitness said: "As you turn left onto Scocles Road there's a big orchard, right in the corner "I can see they've had to drive up onto the path and across the grass. They're tucked away inside.

"It looks like they've broken the fence and I saw about five vehicles.

The travellers are at Thistle Hill Community Woodland
The travellers are at Thistle Hill Community Woodland

"I think they are the same family who were down by the bridge on Old Ferry Road yesterday and they've come here since being moved on.

"I don't think they're doing any harm."

A spokesman from Swale Borough Council said: “We are aware of the traveller site on Thistle Hill in Sheppey and have visited the four caravans to carry out welfare checks.

“We are working with other local authorities and Kent Police to review each unauthorised encampment in compliance with the latest government guidance, and will take welfare needs, behaviour, personal circumstances and site suitability into consideration.

“Travelling families may be able to remain on suitable sites around the borough while we work to help families stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Officers said have attended the site and spoken with the landowner, the local authority, who will lead on this as a civil matter.

Read more: All the latest news from Sheppey


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